Electrical Installation in Outbuildings

July 21, 2020
Electrical Installation: Image of a pale blue garden shed, with a wooden bench underneath the window.

What You Need to Know About Connecting an Electrical Installation to a Shed, Summer House or Outbuilding

If you have a summerhouse or a shed that you’re finding yourself spending increasing amounts of time in, you may be thinking about getting an electrical installation so that the space has power. If you’re planning to build a structure in your garden to serve as a home office, a workshop, home bar, studio or as an extension of your living area, then you’re absolutely going to want an electrical supply installed!

Having electricity in your outbuildings offers the ultimate convenience and means you can power everything from a computer and a desk lamp to industrial power tools and fridge freezers!

With this in mind, we’ve put together a guide to getting an electrical installation in an outbuilding, outlining the areas you need to consider before, during and after the work is carried out. Read on to learn more!


Electrical Installation: Image of a red wooden garage door, with a bicycle in front and stone steps to the left.

The most important thing that you need to consider and the first thing you need to test is the durability of your exterior structure. The structure must be able to withstand rain, heat and wind and show no signs of any leaks, corrosion or damage. If your building displays any of these signs then you must get them repaired before attempting to have any electrical supply installed.


When you are sure your building is suitable for electrical installation, it’s then time to start planning where you would like to have the sockets and switches placed. Whilst this may seem like a simple task, it’s always best to think about what you’ll be using the structure for.

For example, if you’re going to be using it as an office then ensure the sockets are within easy reach of your desk so that you’ve not got trailing extension leads on the floor.  If you’re going to be using the structure as a workshop or studio, then you’ll need to ensure the electrical installation can cope with the power demands of any equipment you may be using and that switches or power outlets are placed within easy reach for you once the equipment is in place, so you don’t need to stretch behind your kit to turn things on or off. Lastly, remember to consider where your furniture will be placed once the space is completed so that you won’t be hiding power outlets or light switches behind your furnishings.

Underground or Overground?

Electrical Installation: Image of a grey outbuilding with wooden shutter doors.

The electrical supply cable can be run either overground or underground when connected to the household mains. The underground is the most commonly chosen method, as it eliminates any unsightly cables running through your garden, and will be less disturbed by the weather and wildlife. It is worth noting that the garden will need to be dug out to accommodate the cable when laying and maintaining the installation.

Consulting with your electrician before going ahead with the installation will give you a good perspective of what work needs to be done. This could include the trench for the underground supply, whether or not your fuse board has a spare circuit to connect the supply to, or if you need to have a larger board installed to accommodate it, and other important aspects.

Things to Remember

When you’re planning to get your outbuilding wired, you must ensure that the electrician you choose is qualified to do the work. Qualified contractors will be NICEIC recognised and work strictly in accordance with the Part P Electrical Safety work regulations. Here at JAH, our team are fully accredited for domestic, commercial and industrial electrical installation work and we have decades of experience in the industry, with the skills to expertly carry out all manner of electrical works.

Contact Us:

We are open and working in accordance with the government’s COVID-19 guidelines. If you’d like to find out more about our electrical installation services, please call us on 01752 338495 or 07802 827636

About JAH Electrical Services Ltd, Plymouth, Devon

From our offices in Plymouth, Devon, our trained Engineers carry out high quality Electrical Contracting work across the private and public sectors, including Healthcare, Education, and Housing. We also carry out domestic work locally. Below you will see our Accreditations, including NIC EIC Approved Contractor and Constructionline. 
You can call us on 01752 338495 or you will find all of our contact info on our Contact page. Thanks for reading, Jamie Hitchcock, MD, JAH Electrical Services Ltd.